Advanced, often almost magic-like technology is common in science fiction in general, but especially in space opera. This is also true with Hyperstorm RPG, but the whole spectrum of existing technology in the Hyperstorm Universe is not common or easily available for the characters or the cultures of the Consortium in general. For example, there are alien artifacts left behind by the supposedly extinct Malachim culture and highly advanced technology developed by the artificial intelligences. Both of them are very difficult to come by and usually restricted by Consortium laws and regulations.
Besides the rare and exotic Malachim and AI technology, there are also many commonly available technologies that would seem like magic to the earthborn ancestors of the mankind.
Designer’s note: Hyperstorm RPG represents “semi-soft” science fiction in its scientific and physical accuracy. For instance, spaceships fly in space according to Newtonian physics, not like jet fighters in Earth atmosphere, but laws of physics are bent when necessary. The so-called techno-babble is part of the setting and style. You have been warned, if you are a hard science fiction fan or a scientist, proceed with caution 😉
Consortium’s energy technology has reached the point where stellar amounts of energy can be produced and managed on a large-scale. Anti-matter reactors are the standard in FTL capable spaceships and most space stations.
Smaller scale energy production is handled by portable cold fusion reactors or microscopic superconductive and self-recharging nano-cells.
Amatium is an unobtainium ore found in some star systems. It can be refined to a stable anti-matter fuel that is usually contained in penning trap cylinders for ease of transportation. Amatium also enables sophisticated nanotechnology, positronic brains, precision gene-splicing and some metamaterials used in the manufacturing of fargates and hyperdrive generator cores.
Amatium is one of the most valued and sought after resources in the known space and the rich amatium deposits in the Lost Expanse has elicited the metacorporations and Consortium representatives to the area – especially the Prosperity Belt – where are several small black holes in the area.
Transportation technology has taken vast steps forward with the progress of the energy technology. A thousand years ago faster-than-light travel allowed humanity to spread into stars and now the hyperdrive technology has become the standard in interstellar travel.
Hyperdrive generators warp the space around the spaceship creating a hyper-dimensional slipstream where the spaceship can travel at speeds faster than light without breaking the special theory the relativity. The travel is not instantaneous, but speeds up to 50-times the speed of light can be reached with most of the interstellar hyperdrive generators. Usually it takes around a week to travel one light-year, but the travel times can be slowed down or diverted by large stars, blackholes or nebulas in the path. Another poorly understood phenomena affecting the hypertravel are the hyperstorms often encountered in the Rift and to lesser extent in the Lost Expanse.
While hyperdrive is still the standard in interstellar travel, the fargate technology is slowly replacing the need for it in many of the Consortium worlds. Fargates are devices that can create a stable wormhole connecting to another fargate. The wormholes are spherical in shape and the diameter varies from 100 to 500 meters. So far it has not proven successful to build a fargate device that could produce a smaller wormhole.
The transition through a fargate to another is practically instantaneous and it is considered safe. But the big downside with the fargates is that they are very expensive and time-taking to build. Building a fargate requires exceptional amounts of amatium and other rare materials. Currently the fargate technology is available only for the Consortium member worlds.
Various artificial metamaterials make super-hard transparent or shape-changing materials possible. These materials are used everywhere from the most common everyday products to high-quality military-grade products, spaceships and such.
Perhaps the most widely used metamaterial is the omnimass. It is a nano-particle mass that can be shaped into almost any form, color and density. It can mimic and bond with most usual materials to a degree that it is hard see with a naked eye if something is fixed or mended with omnimass. All that is needed to shape omnimass is a portable tool with a simple software. It is the ultimate duct tape for any spaceship engineer or nanosmith.
The advancements in energy, force field and material technologies have made such weapons as particle pulse beam and energy melee weapons not only possible, but also practical and cheap enough to make projectile weapons outdated. Of course there are significant new innovations made with projectile weapons also, but instead of being the standard, they have become more specialized or exotic weapons, used mostly by specialized professionals.
Because of the pressurized structures of spaceships, space stations and other habitats, melee weapons have once again become useful. Of course there are ranged weapons that are designed to be safe inside pressurized facilities, but the confined spaces give the melee weapons an edge over the ranged weapons. To compensate the highly durable armor materials, the melee weapons had to be also made more advanced.
Particle pulse beam weapons, or “pulse weapons” for short, are the most common type of an energy weapon. They are used by civilians and military alike, but with different weapon configurations. Pulse weapons shoot focused particle pulses with different degrees of concentration and intensity. Civilian pulse weapons usually have the stun and low-energy settings, while military grade pulse weapons can shoot high-energy pulses capable of penetrating heavy armor or light walls, continuous beams and scatter shots depending on the weapon type.
Vibroblades have a durable ultra-thin nanoforged blades vibrating magnetically at an incredible rate.
While active, the silently humming blade creates a soft sonolumiscent glow around its edges. The glow
brightens and the humming turns into high-pitched screech as the blade cuts through solid matter or a force field.
The invention of the gravity and electromagnetic radiation manipulation made various force field technologies possible. Artificial gravity is perhaps the most commonly used force field technology, and anti-gravity propulsion and deflector shield technologies are based on the same technology.
The deflector shields are standard equipment on any voidjammer or large military vehicle, but so far only nibirans have mastered the technology to make portable deflector shields. These are usually wielded as conventional shields or temporary emergency shields that form a protective bubble around the wielder for a few seconds. The energy shields are good for giving extra protection in melee or in boarding operations, while the “barrier bubbles” offer temporary protection against explosions or heavy weapons fire.
In Hyperstorm Universe nanotechnology has become an ubiquitous and pervasive technology. It has many uses and because of its unperceivable nature, its presence is often disregarded. Rifters and other space-faring groups or cultures use more radical and advanced nanotechnology in various forms, some even requiring very special practice or implants to employ.
Practically all rifter crews use mesh implants. These are small nano-swarms that bind with their host’s nervous system. Mesh can be used to monitor the life-signs of the crew or locate the crew members within the radius of 100 kilometers.
Besides their basic functionality the mesh implants can be modified for different funtions with a specialized software and upgrade implants. With the right kind of configuration a mesh can for example accelerate healing, improve senses or enhance physical performance. This is a valuable asset for the rifters when operating independently on uninhabited hostile worlds.
Besides the voyants, nano-veils are something akin to magic in the Hyperstorm Universe. Nano-veils are controlled by nanokinetics. They host these semi-intelligent nano-swarms that swirl around them like a thin transparent veil; or hide around or inside their hosts until they are needed.
Depending on the nanokinetic’s training and software, the nano-swarms can be used for various tasks from optical camouflaging or remote sensing to mind control or kinetic attacks.
Like the other fields of science and technology medical technology has also taken huge strides forward. Any med-pod can do standard surgical operations or emergency resuscitation, and accelerated healing and mending of bones can be achieved with nanomed injections. In case you happen to lose a limb or one of your less vital organs, it’s cheap and fast to nanoprint a cybernetic prosthetic and implant it with a standard procedure in your med-pod, but still, nothing can match the original. You can always get an organ or body part cloned in a few weeks – or even in a few days if you are in a rush, but it will cost you more.
Cloning and genetic manipulation is almost a form of art, but also a very large business. Volk-Kozerog metacorporation is the leading nemogen manufacturer and their warhog warclones are used by Consortium military and many metacorporations for high-risk military operations.
Nemogens are clones manufactured from optimized DNA framework for various servant and labour tasks. Warclones are also nemogens, but a whole different breed. Where as nemogens are made to be docile servants, warclones are made for war and violence. Nemogens and warclones are implanted with stock memory implants and programmed with safety measures to keep them obedient to their imprinted masters. Nemogens usually have a tattoo or branding on their temples or necks indicating their designer and manufacturer.
The nemogens are allowed in the Consortium worlds, but their legal position is controversial in many of the independent frontier worlds. Especially genics often perceive nemogens more as slaves than commodities.
Cryogenic stasis is practical when making long interstellar trips. It was initially developed to make long space journeys possible, but after the invention of the hyperdrive cryostatis become more of a convenience. A typical voidjammer has recycling systems that can provide water and air for extended periods, but food or hydroponic farms need space which is often a luxury when travelling in space. Therefore it is still more practical to travel in cryostasis if the trip takes more than a week or so – which is the case for most interstellar trips anyway.
The Orgel’s treatment is the most popular method for extending the lifespan in the Consortium worlds. It is possible to upload a consciousness to another body, but it is known that this can have serious psychological consequences. The mind can start to reject the new body, even if it was a clone of the orginal body. Other cultures than humans do not have such need or craving for longevity. The only other culture that is known to use longevity treatments to some extent are the nibirans.
So far the longest living human alive is almost a thousand years old now. He is known to be in great mental and physical condition, but the treatment has its side effects. Extended Orgel’s treatments will reduce the pigmentation overtime, causing a form of albinism after around 500 years of treatment.